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Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by ChordElectronics, Jul 25, 2018.
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  1. Ciggavelli
    Thanks! Just so I'm clear, you are saying that a new headphone will suit me better, and provide a bigger improvement, compared with purchasing the M-Scaler instead?

    I'm a bit of a quant person, so apologies, but would you say a new heaphone(s) will provide X% value, while the m-scaler will provide Y% value, with the X% being larger than the Y%?

    I appreciate the help!
  2. koven Contributor
    Personally I give a 10-20% to M-Scaler. I like mine but I also think the improvement is not night and day. It is noticeable but subtle. Your Utopia will still sound like a Utopia. New headphones are a 100% change from the Utopia. In regards to your chain I would personally switch the Hugo2 and LTA combo to a TT2 before investing in an M-Scaler. Just my two cents.
    Deftone, iDesign, Progisus and 2 others like this.
  3. iDesign
    You would observe a more noticeable change by purchasing different headphones.
    Ciggavelli likes this.
  4. Ciggavelli

    Now it's time to purchase the Empyreans and/or ZMF Verites.

    Choices, choices...:)
  5. jarnopp
    True, but that does not mean it will be for the better. If you were moving from Sundara to Susvara for example, within the same family and sound sig that you like, the much better headphone would be the way to go. But if you like your TOTL headphone, a different signature is not the same as maxing out the quality of the whole chain. I would vote mScaler first, if the OP has heard a lot of TOTL ‘phones and likes the Utopias.
    muski and Ciggavelli like this.
  6. Ciggavelli
    I actually have heard several TOTL headphones. But, I haven't heard the Meze Empyreans, ZMF Verites, or Abyss Phis.

    Currently, I have:

    Focal Utopia (for metal and rock)
    Fostex TH900mk 2 (for hip hop)
    Sennehiser HD800 (for classical)
    LCD-2s (hip hop)
    Grado (for when I want to get good separation and have "fun")

    So, I was thinking about getting the Abyss Diana Phi, ZMF Veritas or Meze Empyereans to compliment my metal and rock listening. But if the m-scaler can notably increase the quality of all of my existing headphones, I would pull the trigger
  7. dac64
    Maybe can consider solar generators for all the digital.

    Or just 12V li-ion battery + pure sine wave inveters.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  8. iDesign
    Hence why I said "change" and didn't say better or improvement. It becomes a question of subjectivity vs. objectivity and a personal preference. No one can pretend to understand how someone else will perceive sound or fully understand someones preferences-- this is why its critical that people listen to any equipment they're considering before making a purchase. The word "better" is used too often on Head-Fi not to describe something that is technically better but instead to describe something that better matches someone's personal preferences.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  9. Ciggavelli
    I wish I had that option, but it doesn’t exist in my location. I have to buy, and then listen, and then return the equipment if I don’t like it. When we’re talking $4-5K on headphones or the M-Scaler, I have to do my research in hopes that I make an educated purchase that I’ll like. It’s a risk, so I’m asking for everybody’s opinions.

    Thanks everybody :)
    Aslshark likes this.
  10. iDesign
    Chord, Meze, Abyss just 165 miles away: http://www.thxstereo.com/Brand_We_Sell.html
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
    Ciggavelli likes this.
  11. Ciggavelli
    That’s a 300 mile round trip, but I guess it is the best way to make sure of my potential purchases. Thanks
  12. phase0
    Among my personal taste from Canjam, I would rate it 1. Abyss Phi 2. Meze Empyrean 3. Verites. I put my money on Abyss. I remember when I heard Susvara, Abyss Phi and Focal Utopia (and Stax) side by side. I easily put Utopia a distant 3rd tier. I left that moment, sold my Utopia and place my order for the Abyss. No brainer for me. FWIW... I also agree with other sentiment. I like my mscaler but would emphasis new headphones over mscaler given the options and my experience.
    Mikey99 and Ciggavelli like this.
  13. simorag
    In my opinion, since you already have a very nice collection of great headphones, the M Scaler would bring a very compelling return on investment, since all your current headphones performances would benefit from it, i.e. all of them will sound - notably - better (especially true for the most resolving of the bunch, i.e. HD800 / Utopia).

    In terms of sounding different, this is another story, the biggest change would be by adding another "flavour" to your HP signatures collection, and in that case I would go for the Verité.
    Aslshark and Ciggavelli like this.
  14. Chester Rockwell
    @Rob Watts I read in another thread (Hugo2 I think) that you stated a 705.6kHz or 768kHz is passed straight through by the M Scaler, and that an M Scaled 44.1kHz file sounds identical to the 705.6kHz version of the same track.

    Does this mean that if we put to one side for a moment the differences between your DAC designs and others, any DAC that could handle 705.6kHz/768kHz files, could receive a native 705.6kHz file and in theory recreate the original analog signal to better than 16bit accuracy too?
  15. Rob Watts
    Just to clarify - I have only one 768k recording, and it has the same virtues of a 44.1k track that is M scaled - that is a cavernous sound stage, natural flow, and timbre variations. I have not (yet) taken a 768k recording, decimated it to 48k, then M scaled it back to 768k, to see what the overall losses are involved. This is something I certainly plan to do (actually since the decimation filter has been done I can actually do this now).

    As too your second question, this is actually much more difficult to answer - as the 16 bit interpolation accuracy applies at the M scaler OP sampling rate (although in practice it would be 16 bit analogue accurate in terms of transient timing reconstruction) as the next WTA2 filter will continue the reconstruction to 16 bit accuracy, at ever finer OP resolution. As you double the SR, you reduce the area of the error by a factor of 4, or two bits, without adding more interpolation. But the issue with other DACs relate to the DAC analogue reconstruction accuracy, and R2R DACs are simply not fast enough to be accurate above 768; and conventional DACs with their typical 2.8 MHz noise shapers are not much better either. So switching glitches and/or noise shaper noise degrades accuracy.
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    onsionsi and andrewd01 like this.
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